A landmark structure at CF Pacific Centre that acts as the centrepiece of a public plaza in downtown Vancouver is in the process of being demolished.
The rotunda glass dome at the northeast corner of the intersection of West Georgia Street and Howe Street, just across from the Vancouver Art Gallery, is in the process of coming down, a spokesperson with Cadillac Fairview (CF) confirmed with Daily Hive.
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The commercial developer and landlord says it is moving forward with the redevelopment of the rotunda into a three-storey retail expansion to the shopping mall.
The decades-old rotunda was a high-traffic interior mall lobby that added to the public realm of the Central Business District, offering a unique indoor gathering space.
Over the years, it has been CF Pacific Centre’s main public-facing space, with events and some of the mall’s most prominent seasonal installations — such as Christmas decorations and Lunar New Year lanterns — activating the dome throughout the year. It was even transformed into a giant igloo during the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Crews have fenced off the rotunda, and are currently in the process of demolishing the planters and concrete deck that creates the outdoor plaza. All of the trees and bushes have already been removed.
In 2019, city staff approved CF’s revised development application to construct a new two-storey pavilion building with 14,000 sq. ft. of floor area.
CF has yet to formally announce the tenant that will occupy the large retail unit, but given the striking characteristics of the building’s design, all signs point to Vancouver’s Apple flagship store, replacing the existing in-mall store.
It has been known within the local commercial real estate sector that Apple has been searching for a suitable flagship store location in downtown Vancouver for the past 15 years.
Designed by the local office of Perkins + Will Architects, the new pavilion building project includes a small outdoor plaza area outside the store’s glass facade, two replacement mall entrances fronting West Georgia Street and Howe Street, and a green wall.
Immediately adjacent to the existing rotunda is the CF-owned tower that previously housed the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver.
The longtime hotel property shuttered its doors at the end of January of this year. The interior of the 30-storey tower is currently in the process of being gutted as part of its renovation for a new yet-to-be-named hotel operator.